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Duquette: 'When you're close, got to do what you can'

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Duquette: 'When you're close, got to do what you can'

BALTIMORE -- Dan Duquette had a busy day, adding and subtracting players. His prize was adding outfielder Gerardo Parra froutfielder Gerardo Parra from the Milwaukee Brewers. The price was Triple-A pitcher Zach Davies.

Just before the deadline, the Orioles sent Tommy Hunter to the Chicago Cubs for minor league outfielder Junior Lake. The Orioles needed flexibility in the bullpen and for now have added Mike Wright from Norfolk and Mychal Givens from Bowie.

To make room for Parra, the Orioles designated first baseman Chris Parmelee for assignment.

"We were able to make a couple of trades to help our team and try to get ready to get back to the playoffs. We're real happy and excited that we were able to pick up Parra. He's one of the top hitters in the National League this year and he fits the profile of an every day position player for us,” Duquette said.

“Two-time Gold Glover, he can hit against left- and right-handed pitching and he's very good at getting on base. He's got some really good numbers at the top of the order. He's a good set-up hitter and a good defender to play in the field. That should keep our defense strong, help our pitching, and his presence at the top of the lineup should be real additive. That's an ingredient that we've been missing and we're glad to have him join us."

The trade was completed Friday morning.

"The price is steep this time of year because there's a lot of teams that are chasing a couple of good players,” Duquette said.

“I saw during our research on Parra, he's the leading hitter in the big leagues since May 1 in terms of average. He's been hitting the ball really well. He's desirable to a lot of teams, so the cost is significant. We gave up a good young pitching prospect in Zach Davies.”

The Orioles begin play on Friday night two games behind Minnesota for the second wild card spot.

“It's a credit to our farm system that we have the players available to trade. And again, I think when you're close and you have a chance to get into the playoffs, you've got to do what you can around these deadlines to strengthen your team and keep going toward the goal,” Duquette said.

The Orioles needed to add pitchers who had options in Wright and Givens.

“We have some younger pitchers who are going to come up and join our team that have options, but also have a lot of talent. Mike Wright's been here. He's done a nice job. Mychal Givens has been here. He's done a really good job in Double-A,” Duquette said.

“Invariably in our conversations with other teams, after Kevin Gausman the two pitchers they wanted next was Mike Wright and Mychal Givens. So other teams have identified as ready for the big leagues. So now, we are going to give them an opportunity.”

Duquette said he had a hard time letting Norris go.

“That was a tough decision. Bud had a really good year last year, really good,” Duquette said. “This year he hasn’t been able to reestablish that. We tried him in the starting role. We transitioned him to relief, and he just didn’t have a lot of success. We’re going to try and find a spot for him with another club. That was a disappointment, I think. I know it’s a personal disappointment for me. I was disappointed we couldn’t help him perform more or he couldn’t perform better this season because he had a great year last season.”

Duquette said there wasn’t any interest in Norris from other teams.

“We explored that with every club we talked with. He’s not throwing the ball real well right now,” Duquette said. “He’s a veteran pitcher. He’s healthy. That’s what’s puzzling. I’m disappointed we couldn’t find a solution to that.”

Duquette said that he would continue to look for pitching in August, which will be more difficult because players have to pass through waivers.

“We’re always looking to add pitching,” Duquette said. “There’ll be a little bit of a lull in the transfer of players from team-to-team, but there will be some other opportunities. We’ll be looking to add to our team.”

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles deal Hunter for minor league outfielder

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

Buck Showalter has been fired as manager of the Orioles, who made three playoff appearances under his guidance but this year staggered through the worst season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.

Showalter confirmed the dismissal Wednesday in a text message to The Associated Press.

A three-time AL Manager of the Year, Showalter ranks second on the Orioles' career list with 669 victories, trailing Earl Weaver. He took over in August 2010 and orchestrated the resurgence of a team that suffered through 14 straight losing seasons.

Once hailed for making baseball in Baltimore relevant again, the 62-year-old Showalter is out of a job after a season in which the Orioles finished 47-115, 61 games behind Boston in the AL East. His contract expired at the end of October, and the Orioles opted against a renewal as they continue a major rebuild that began in late July, when they traded stars Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman for minor league prospects.

Those deals were made by Dan Duquette, the executive vice president of baseball operations, whose future with the organization is up in the air.

Showalter earned AL Manager of the Year honors in 2014 after taking the Orioles to the AL East title and a berth in the Championship Series. He was also named Manager of Year with the Yankees in 1994 and Texas in 2004. His career record is 1,551-1,517, including 669-684 with Baltimore.

"I just think ever since he came here, the franchise just gained a little more accountability, gained an edge for some time," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said before the final game of the season. "It's the end of an era. A great manager, a great tenure. I don't know if he's going to coach or manage again, but he's got grandchildren. Go golf. Relax and go sit on the golf course."

With his future in doubt, Showalter appeared undaunted during the final series of the regular season.

"You know how good they've been to me? I'm not ever going to forget that, regardless of what happens," he said.

Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin was asked before his team's playoff game against the Yankees on Wednesday night whether Showalter was victimized by the trend toward analytics.

"I don't think Buck was a guy that ignored analytics," Melvin said. "I think it was probably a combination of how they did this year and maybe some relationships."

After the Orioles brought Showalter out of retirement, he offered renewed hope by fashioning a 34-23 finish in 2010 for a team that was 32-73 upon his arrival.

Baltimore ended a 14-year playoff drought in 2012, advancing to the AL Division Series following a victory over Texas in the wild-card game. Playoff appearances in 2014 and 2016 followed.

Last year, however, the Orioles fell to 75-87 after losing 19 of their final 23 games. Baltimore hoped the addition of starters Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner would enable the team to be a contender this year, but a horrid start quickly dispelled that notion.

The Orioles' deficit in the AL East reached double digits by April 18 and they were 8-27 on May 8. By the end of July, Baltimore fully entered rebuilding mode, leaving Showalter with the dubious distinction of overseeing a team that finished with the poorest record in the majors and one that surpassed the 1939 St. Louis Browns for most losses in franchise history.

Showalter never offered an excuse. He just grinded forward, working to prepare the team for 2019 even though he knew he might not be around to follow through.

At the outset of a season-ending series against Houston, Showalter was asked if he was thinking these might be his final days in the Baltimore dugout.

"We all have some private thoughts and emotions about that, but I don't think it serves the organization well for me to be worried about that right now," he said. "We've got some things to do these last four games that need to get done."

Showalter has a reputation as a no-nonsense manager, but his players appreciated his baseball knowledge and skill at handling a team. He made a point of talking to each of them on a regular basis, almost always offering encouragement.

"He gave me a chance," said catcher Caleb Joseph, who played six-plus years in the minors before arriving in Baltimore. "He believed in me in 2014, ran me out there and gave me a chance to be part of a championship team. He's really vouched for me ever since. I owe a lot to Buck and his loyalty. He's been a main figure here for a long time."

Sensing the end was near for the only big league manager he had ever played for, first baseman Trey Mancini said: "It's been an absolute honor to play for Buck. He's been incredible."

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

The Boston Red Sox broke a 106-year-old franchise record with their 106th victory on Monday night, clinching home-field advantage through the postseason by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 thanks to a pair of hits from major league batting leader Mookie Betts.

Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless Orioles batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in baseball this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far. For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the AL wild-card game between the New York Yankees and mostly likely Oakland.

The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.

The Orioles (45-111) became the sixth AL team and the first since the 2003 Tigers to lose 111 games, falling 60 games behind Boston (106-51) in the division. It's the first time since 1939 that teams separated by 60 wins in the standings have played each other.

Boston scored four in the second inning, getting back-to-back doubles from Steve Pearce and Brock Holt, an RBI single from Christian Vazquez and Betts' two-run homer over the Green Monster. It was the 32nd homer of the season for Betts, a new career high.

Betts also singled and scored in Boston's two-run fourth, moving him into the major-league lead with 125 runs scored. In his last three games, he is 10 for 16 with three homers and four doubles, and he leads teammate J.D. Martinez (.328) in the AL batting race.

Renato Nunez had three hits for the Orioles, who fell to 2-15 against Boston and 18-61 on the road this season.

FOR STARTERS

Six days after throwing six scoreless innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi (6-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none but uncorking a pair of wild pitches.

Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-16) gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings, striking out five.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Yefrey Ramirez is scheduled to start on Wednesday, but manager Buck Showalter said he wanted to give him an extra day or two. "I think Yefrey will pitch again, I just don't know when," Showalter said.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was back in the lineup after feeling soreness in his left shoulder during a swing and leaving Sunday night's game. ... INF Eduardo Nunez ran on Sunday to test his hamstring and was scheduled to run again on Monday with the goal of having him back in the lineup by Wednesday or Friday.

UP NEXT

LHP David Price (15-7) tries to bounce back from a rough start in Yankee Stadium in the second game of the series in what could be his last start of the regular season.